The Olympics have come and gone. The athletic highlights were certainly worth tuning in for, but, as we’ve come to expect of the games, many of the most memorable stories were side dramas and breathless gossip. Sometimes it seemed like headlines focused more on Lochte-Gate and Mathew McConaughey than on the accomplishments of the athletes or the beauty of the host country — the unfortunate hashtag #RioProblems didn’t help, in that regard.
When Brazil took center stage for Rio 2016, the media spotlight exposed genuine political and economic chaos. Before the torch was even lit, people had a foul taste in their mouths about Brazil in general and Rio in specific. Despite the bad press, Brazil’s people seemed to maintain an envy-inducing degree of optimism. Rio might not have looked perfectly organized, but it did look crazy fun.
Now that the games are in the rearview, we felt like it was time to reflect on that buoyant Brazilian spirit — with the photography collective, Flanares, as our guide. Just as Robert Frank did for the U.S. in the 1950s, the Flanares crew has set out to upend our perceptions through emotionally captivating imagery. Their goal is to show how hopeful and powerful the Brazilian people are, even in the face of hardship.
The photographers within the collective capture the street performers and daily commutes. They shoot the in between times and intimate moments we, as outside viewers, never got to witness on TV.